IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/spr/eujhec/v18y2017i8d10.1007_s10198-016-0847-5.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The impact of minimum wages on population health: evidence from 24 OECD countries

Author

Listed:
  • Otto Lenhart

    (University of West Florida)

Abstract

This study examines the relationship between minimum wages and several measures of population health by analyzing data from 24 OECD countries for a time period of 31 years. Specifically, I test for health effects as a result of within-country variations in the generosity of minimum wages, which are measured by the Kaitz index. The paper finds that higher levels of minimum wages are associated with significant reductions of overall mortality rates as well as in the number of deaths due to outcomes that have been shown to be more prevalent among individuals with low socioeconomic status (e.g., diabetes, disease of the circulatory system, stroke). A 10% point increase of the Kaitz index is associated with significant declines in death rates and an increase in life expectancy of 0.44 years. Furthermore, I provide evidence for potential channels through which minimum wages impact population health by showing that more generous minimum wages impact outcomes such as poverty, the share of the population with unmet medical needs, the number of doctor consultations, tobacco consumption, calorie intake, and the likelihood of people being overweight.

Suggested Citation

  • Otto Lenhart, 2017. "The impact of minimum wages on population health: evidence from 24 OECD countries," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 18(8), pages 1031-1039, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:eujhec:v:18:y:2017:i:8:d:10.1007_s10198-016-0847-5
    DOI: 10.1007/s10198-016-0847-5
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s10198-016-0847-5
    File Function: Abstract
    Download Restriction: Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted.

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1007/s10198-016-0847-5?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Peter Dolton & Chiara Rosazza Bondibene & Jonathan Wadsworth, 2012. "Employment, Inequality and the UK National Minimum Wage over the Medium‐Term," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 74(1), pages 78-106, February.
    2. Andrea Garnero & Stephan Kampelmann & François Rycx, 2013. "Minimum Wage Systems and Earnings Inequalities:Does Institutional Diversity Matter?," DULBEA Working Papers 13-06, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    3. Angus Deaton, 2003. "Health, Inequality, and Economic Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(1), pages 113-158, March.
    4. Robert E. Prasch, 1996. "In Defense of the Minimum Wage," Journal of Economic Issues, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(2), pages 391-397, June.
    5. Charles Brown & Curtis Gilroy & Andrew Kohen, 1982. "The Effect of the Minimum Wage on Employment and Unemployment: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 0846, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. repec:pri:cheawb:case_paxson_economic_status_paper is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Hilary Hoynes & Doug Miller & David Simon, 2015. "Income, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and Infant Health," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 172-211, February.
    8. Janet Currie & Mark Stabile, 2003. "Socioeconomic Status and Child Health: Why Is the Relationship Stronger for Older Children?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1813-1823, December.
    9. Hoynes, Hilary & Page, Marianne & Stevens, Ann Huff, 2011. "Can targeted transfers improve birth outcomes?: Evidence from the introduction of the WIC program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 813-827, August.
    10. Cotti, Chad & Tefft, Nathan, 2013. "Fast food prices, obesity, and the minimum wage," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 134-147.
    11. Tsao, T.-Y. & Konty, K.J. & Van Wye, G. & Barbot, O. & Hadler, J.L. & Linos, N. & Bassett, M.T., 2016. "Estimating potential reductions in premature mortality in New York City from raising the minimum wage to $15," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 106(6), pages 1036-1041.
    12. repec:pri:cheawb:case_paxson_economic_status_paper.pdf is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Sterling, Peter & Eyer, Joe, 1981. "Biological basis of stress-related mortality," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 3-42, January.
    14. Brown, Charles & Gilroy, Curtis & Kohen, Andrew, 1982. "The Effect of the Minimum Wage on Employment and Unemployment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 487-528, June.
    15. Pandelis Mitsis, 2015. "Effects of Minimum Wages on Total Employment: Evidence from Cyprus," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 318-345, September.
    16. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-255, March-Apr.
    17. Scott Adams & McKinley L. Blackburn & Chad D. Cotti, 2012. "Minimum Wages and Alcohol-Related Traffic Fatalities among Teens," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(3), pages 828-840, August.
    18. William N. Evans & Craig L. Garthwaite, 2014. "Giving Mom a Break: The Impact of Higher EITC Payments on Maternal Health," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 258-290, May.
    19. Steffen Reinhold & Hendrik Jürges, 2012. "Parental income and child health in Germany," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(5), pages 562-579, May.
    20. Wiji Arulampalam & Alison L. Booth & Mark L. Bryan, 2004. "Training and the new minimum wage," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(494), pages 87-94, March.
    21. Kosali Ilayperuma Simon & Robert Kaestner, 2004. "Do Minimum Wages Affect Non-Wage Job Attributes? Evidence on Fringe Benefits," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 58(1), pages 52-70, October.
    22. Anne Case & Darren Lubotsky & Christina Paxson, 2002. "Economic Status and Health in Childhood: The Origins of the Gradient," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1308-1334, December.
    23. Sorlie, P.D. & Backlund, E. & Keller, J.B., 1995. "US mortality by economic, demographic, and social characteristics: The National Longitudinal Mortality Study," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 85(7), pages 949-956.
    24. Henry, James P., 1982. "The relation of social to biological processes in disease," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 369-380, January.
    25. Susan Averett & Yang Wang, 2013. "The Effects Of Earned Income Tax Credit Payment Expansion On Maternal Smoking," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(11), pages 1344-1359, November.
    26. David S. Lee, 1999. "Wage Inequality in the United States During the 1980s: Rising Dispersion or Falling Minimum Wage?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 977-1023.
    27. Komro, K.A. & Livingston, M.D. & Markowitz, S. & Wagenaar, A.C., 2016. "The effect of an increased minimum wage on infant mortality and birth weight," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 106(8), pages 1514-1516.
    28. Mindy S. Marks, 2011. "Minimum Wages, Employer-Provided Health Insurance, and the Non-discrimination Law," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(2), pages 241-262, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Du Juan & Leigh J. Paul, 2018. "Effects of Minimum Wages on Absence from Work Due to Illness," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 18(1), pages 1-23, January.
    2. Otto Lenhart, 2020. "Pathways Between Minimum Wages and Health: The Roles of Health Insurance, Health Care Access and Health Care Utilization," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan;Eastern Economic Association, vol. 46(3), pages 438-459, June.
    3. Jiwei Chen, 2021. "Do minimum wage increases benefit worker health? Evidence from China," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 473-499, June.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Otto Lenhart, 2019. "The effects of income on health: new evidence from the Earned Income Tax Credit," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 377-410, June.
    2. Elena Andreyeva & Benjamin Ukert, 2018. "The impact of the minimum wage on health," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 18(4), pages 337-375, December.
    3. Owen O'Donnell & Eddy Van Doorslaer & Tom Van Ourti, 2013. "Health and Inequality," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-170/V, Tinbergen Institute.
    4. Markowitz, Sara & Komro, Kelli A. & Livingston, Melvin D. & Lenhart, Otto & Wagenaar, Alexander C., 2017. "Effects of state-level Earned Income Tax Credit laws in the U.S. on maternal health behaviors and infant health outcomes," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 194(C), pages 67-75.
    5. Averett, Susan L. & Wang, Yang, 2015. "The Effects of the Earned Income Tax Credit on Children's Health, Quality of Home Environment, and Non-Cognitive Skills," IZA Discussion Papers 9173, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Otto Lenhart, 2020. "Pathways Between Minimum Wages and Health: The Roles of Health Insurance, Health Care Access and Health Care Utilization," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan;Eastern Economic Association, vol. 46(3), pages 438-459, June.
    7. Brady P. Horn & Johanna Catherine Maclean & Michael R. Strain, 2017. "Do Minimum Wage Increases Influence Worker Health?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(4), pages 1986-2007, October.
    8. George L. Wehby & Dhaval M. Dave & Robert Kaestner, 2020. "Effects of the Minimum Wage on Infant Health," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 39(2), pages 411-443, March.
    9. Jiwei Chen, 2021. "Do minimum wage increases benefit worker health? Evidence from China," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 473-499, June.
    10. Kerris Cooper & Kitty Stewart, 2021. "Does Household Income Affect children’s Outcomes? A Systematic Review of the Evidence," Child Indicators Research, Springer;The International Society of Child Indicators (ISCI), vol. 14(3), pages 981-1005, June.
    11. Dora L. Costa, 2015. "Health and the Economy in the United States from 1750 to the Present," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 53(3), pages 503-570, September.
    12. Mathias Huebener, 2017. "Intergenerational Effects of Education on Risky Health Behaviours and Long-Term Health," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1709, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    13. Schumann, Mathias, 2017. "The effects of minimum wages on firm-financed apprenticeship training," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 163-181.
    14. Nakamura, Sayaka, 2014. "Parental income and child health in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 42-55.
    15. Dolton, Peter & Bondibene, Chiara Rosazza & Stops, Michael, 2015. "Identifying the employment effect of invoking and changing the minimum wage: A spatial analysis of the UK," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 54-76.
    16. Young Jo, 2018. "Does the earned income tax credit increase children's weight? The impact of policy‐driven income on childhood obesity," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(7), pages 1089-1102, July.
    17. Otto Lenhart, 2019. "The effects of health shocks on labor market outcomes: evidence from UK panel data," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 20(1), pages 83-98, February.
    18. Khanal, Binod, 2020. "Cash transfers and consumption of healthy and unhealthy food: evidence from tax refunds," 2020 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, Kansas City, Missouri 304346, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    19. Hafner, Lucas, 2019. "Do minimum wages improve self-rated health? Evidence from a natural experiment," FAU Discussion Papers in Economics 02/2019, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Institute for Economics.
    20. Kajal Lahiri & Liu Yang, 0. "Estimating Endogenous Ordered Response Panel Data Models with an Application to Income Gradient in Child Health," Sankhya B: The Indian Journal of Statistics, Springer;Indian Statistical Institute, vol. 0, pages 1-37.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:eujhec:v:18:y:2017:i:8:d:10.1007_s10198-016-0847-5. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Sonal Shukla or Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.